We’re so excited to introduce AWHC’s first Youth Leader – Bailey Prasad!
During Velma Johnston’s “Pencil War” in the late 1950’s, thousands of school children wrote letters to Congress and were instrumental in helping to pass the first piece of wild horse legislation – the Wild Horse Annie Act.
Sadly, almost sixty years later, the fight to protect wild horses and burros is just as urgent. AWHC understands the important role that our next generation of advocates can play in assuring that these national treasures remain “free and wild” on public lands – now and in the future.
We know Bailey will be an inspiration and a resource for other young people who want to become educated and motivated to save our wild horses and burros.
Hello. My name is Bailey. I am a seventeen-year-old high school student with a passion for wild horses. Ever since I joined my local 4H over nine years ago, I have been deeply immersed in the horse world, fascinated by all things horse-related. My interest in wild horses began about four years ago when I first found out about the population of wild horses in the western United States. Growing up, I envisioned wild horses the way many people do––majestic, spirited animals free to roam wherever they please.
When I was thirteen, I began to delve deeper into the backstory of the wild mustang. It was while researching I discovered that although majestic and spirited, the poor management of the wild horse population restricts their ability to roam freely. I was shocked at the deplorable practices employed by the Bureau of Land Management––a division of the Department of the Interior that is responsible for the well-being and management of wild horses and burros on public rangelands. The more I learned, the more I realized that there is a tremendous need for increased public awareness about the plight of our mustangs. With that in mind, I began to work towards sharing what I learned with others.
Through 4H, I began competing in the communications contest doing presentations and speeches to educate people about wild horses and the need for advocacy to ensure the survival of the wild mustang. I have been fortunate enough to compete regionally, statewide and nationally––sharing my knowledge at each of those levels. I first found out about the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) when researching for one of my 4H presentations. There was a great amount of information organized on the AWHC’s website, but I noticed that there was not much specifically geared towards younger people, like myself, who care deeply about wild horses.
In late 2017, I contacted the AWHC to ask about how I could become directly involved in the great work that is done by everyone at the Campaign. After several conversations with the program specialist––Mary Koncel––and with the approval of Suzanne Roy, executive director of AWHC, I was offered the opportunity to become the first Youth Leader.
In the coming months, I will be posting monthly blogs on topics related to wild horses. Additionally, I will be providing sample presentations that can be used by anyone to further spread awareness. My goal is to encourage other young people to get involved, and I hope that by providing information and presentations more young people will choose to advocate on behalf of wild horses.
I am excited for the opportunity to share what I know and to learn more about wild horses and the challenges they face. If you have a specific topic or question in mind, I would love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next month, I will introduce you to Shiloh, the mustang who started me on my path to be becoming a wild horse advocate.
Until then, Bailey